Lobby groups make fizz while hot air swirls

Cantillon: Reality check needed to take the fizz out of hot air rumour

A storm in a teacup was caused this week by concern over Co2 supply which could impact breweries. Drinks giant Diageo says it has seen no impact. Photograph: iStock

A storm in a teacup was caused this week by concern over Co2 supply which could impact breweries. Drinks giant Diageo says it has seen no impact. Photograph: iStock

 

Europe’s fizz is fast running out, its pigs and chickens are living marginally longer, and brewers are in a frenzy as bubble monitoring becomes a key business requirement.

None of this is quite true: in fact, there’s a bit of a supply issue with carbon dioxide (CO2) but it’s really nothing more than a story that keeps media types busy in the silly season.

This one in particular was broken by “gasworld.com” which described the blight as the “worst supply situation to hit the European carbon dioxide business in decades”.

It appears that initial concerns, stoked by gasworld to some degree, aren’t well-founded but do provide a platform for obscure lobby groups to show how concerned they are.

In the Republic, the Department of Agriculture played down the issue by saying it is “monitoring” the situation.

Silver Hill Duck, which supplies 98 per cent of the European market for head-on ducks, said it has “contingency plans in place”, but doesn’t believe it will be affected by the shortage.

Its poultry colleague, Moy Park, is also “carefully” monitoring the situation and taking “appropriate measures to mitigate any impact”.

Neither were more specific on their “measures” or “plans”.

The issue seems to be that the standard maintenance that takes place across the industry at this time of year, coupled with low ammonia margins at a time when drink production is at its peak, is putting a strain on supply.

But for Ireland, nobody seems overly concerned, except the Irish Brewers Association (IBA) which has started to see an “impact” on microbreweries. What is that impact? It can’t say, but guess what, it too is monitoring the situation.

For the likes of the IBA, news like this provides a platform that is generally unavailable. Interestingly, drinks giant Diageo has seen no impact so far. Go figure.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.